Ministers are required to have a deep understanding of Biblical doctrine, the role of the church, and the philosophy and history of religion. In order to get this education, pastors are required to earn a bachelor’s degree in religious studies, religious education, or theology. While in these programs, students take courses in the mystery of God, world religions, religious ethics, marriage and the church, and the Old and New Testaments.
Generally, churches expect ministers to hold a master’s degree in divinity in order to get employment. These programs are designed to teach students about the rigors of being a church leader and how to handle the responsibility to their congregation and community. Coursework covers writing and delivering sermons, transformational leadership, theological aesthetics, conducting worship services, and political theology.
In order to have religious authority in a church, aspiring ministers must undergo the ordination process. Standards for becoming ordained depend on the specific religious denomination. Some churches may require written or oral examinations, while others expect ministers to volunteer at the church for a certain amount of time.
Earning a certification can improve your skills and make you a more marketable candidate. Potential certifications include certified applications professional, Cloudera certified professional: data scientist, EMC: data science associate and SAS certified predictive modeler using SAS Enterprise Miner 7.
Some states require ministers to obtain a license in order to work for a church. Licensing requirements vary from state to state, so future ministers should find out what is expected of them.
Yes. There are many types of religious denominations, so those that don’t have a preference should learn about them and determine which one they connect with most. This can be done by taking courses during college, as well as volunteering for different kinds of churches.
It depends on the denomination they are a part of. Some ministry boards require pastors to complete continuing education courses through their church or a professional religious organization.
Ministers are required to connect with their community, and one way they can do this is by maintaining social media pages. This allows them to communicate with parishioners about what’s going on in the church, as well as speak to other pastors and the community at large.
Ministry is a calling, but those who are thinking about training for this career must still consider their chances of getting a job. This section discusses the job prospects for ministers, as well as their earning potential.
PayScale details the salaries of ministers and reports that the median annual salary they command is $50,080. In addition, the site includes the following breakdown of how much these professionals earn at different stages of their career.
According to O*NET OnLine, there will be a five to nine percent growth of jobs for ministers between 2016 and 2026, which amounts to 29,200 positions created during this time. The exact number of available minister jobs will be tied to the economy, however, as denominations are unlikely to build new churches during lean economic times.
Ministers have a huge responsibility to their communities, so they should get the best training available to prepare them for it. This section provides information to help those interested in training for ministry find the school that’s right for them.
Students who enter degree programs have several concerns that guide their decision. Those in search of a degree want to know how much their tuition will cost. Other concerns may include how long it takes to complete a program, whether or not they can earn a certification during their time in the program, and how courses are delivered. Use the following tool to search schools by these criteria and find the program that meets your needs.
Being in ministry is all about community, so joining professional associations can help pastors stay connected with each other and learn skills that will make them more effective in their home churches. The following are examples of some of the organizations ministers can become a part of.
Promotes excellence in ministry, education, and collaboration among colleagues. The association offers events, mentoring services, and a library of resources.
This association has worked to empower ministers since 1954. Offers education programs and other events.
This interdenominational Christian association provides training, leadership development, and mentoring services.
Provides networking and training to professional ministers.
This group is geared toward ministers who work in a higher education setting. Members participate in an annual conference, receive a quarterly newsletter, and have access to opportunities to network with each other.
Dedicated to those who work in the youth ministry field. It provides an annual conference, a member directory, awards for excellence, and professional development sessions. The organization also publishes the Journal of Youth Ministry.
Provides certifications, continuing education, newsletters, and regional and national assemblies.
Members of this organization participate in community building and networking events and education programs.
Supports women in ministry by providing opportunities to network and learn.
This organization has been dedicated to the needs of those in lay ministry in the Catholic Church since 1976.
In order to be effective in ministry, professionals should always work on sharpening their skills and knowledge. The following resources can help.
This podcast is designed to help pastors handle the challenges of working in the ministry. Includes interviews with ministers and discussions of topics ministers should consider.
This site provides resources to pastors to help them be effective in their jobs.
Journal designed to equip ministers with the tools they need to lead a congregation.
Provides Biblical advice on how to be an effective minister.
This article provides advice to those considering becoming a minister.
Provides insights from ministers on how to be a successful pastor.
Outlines what is expected from senior pastors.
Discusses the responsibilities head pastors have to their staff, their congregants, and their communities.
Monthly magazine for ministers that has been providing advice since 1928.
This site provides articles, podcasts, and videos for ministers.